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Caught in the crossfire

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TRAUMA: Navya Nair and Nedumudi Venu in `Saira.'
TRAUMA: Navya Nair and Nedumudi Venu in `Saira.'

G. JAYAKUMAR

`Saira' is the story of a youngster who is caught in a maelstrom of violence.

During a communal riot or a terrorist act, it is innocent people who get caught in the crossfire. It is their children who become orphans. The real perpetrators of the violence manage to escape the long arm of the law. The film `Saira' is about the persecution of a young girl who is pulled into a vicious circle of events over which she has no control.

Two awards

`Saira' has been directed by Biju, a practitioner of homoeopathy. It is his first feature film and it has bagged two State Awards for the year 2005. Navya Nair bagged her second award for the best actress and Ramesh Narayan won the award for the best background music. The story of the film centres around the experiences of its principal character, Saira. Orphaned as a result of violence that breaks out on account of a hartal, Saira is abused as a child. However, Saira manages to become a TV news reporter. As she happens to interview an absconding terrorist as part of her work, she becomes the target of the police. Then, amidst a communal flare-up, she is gang-raped. Her trauma does not end there. She is further summoned for interrogation by the police as a prime suspect in a terrorist-related case. Navya Nair has brilliantly portrayed Saira during different stages of her life - as the plucky journalist and as the helpless victim of rape and police harassment. Nedumudi Venu's performance as her foster-father, Ustad Ali Hussain, a famous Hindustani musician, who cannot come to terms with the absence of his daughter, also stands out.

Sense of loss

While the visuals of the film depict the sense of loss and desolateness through incessant rain, empty rooms and abandoned children, Ramesh Narayan's background score heightens the mood. Director Biju acknowledges the unconditional and wholehearted support of the film's producer B.N. Radhakrishnan in making the film a reality. Biju forayed into films as a college student in 1997 when he made `Pranayakalam' known as the first campus film.Among his documentaries, `Abhayarthanathinte Panthavukal' was commended for its portrayal of refugees from Sri Lanka in a settlement colony at Gavi in Pathanamthitta district. The cast includes V.K. Baiju, Koodal Shobhan, B.N.Radhakrishnan, Thazhava Sahadevan, Somarajan Pillai, Rajan Venadu, Baby Shahina and Sunil. The camera of M.J. Radhakrishnan has captured the picturesque locations as well as the rustic beauty. Saira is slated for release in the third week of February.


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